GO TO THE ANT

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest" (Proverbs 6:6-8).

Here in the tropics, we have every imaginable kind of ant. I am told that in Japan alone there are 262 different species, and it is estimated that there are about 20,000 different species of ants in the world. Each species has its own unique characteristics so that the whole subject of ants is mind boggling. These various types range from the tiny sugar eating ant in most American kitchens to the huge flesh-eating army ants in the jungles of South America.

If you watch ants for any length of time you will see that they really do communicate with each other, and very effectively too. Scouts return and communicate with nest mates by touching each other with their antennae, and they also leave scent trails for others to follow. Young workers can be trained by older workers. "Nurses" feed larvae predigested food and help pupae emerge from silken cocoons.

This month, during the hottest season, tiny brown ants have invaded our kitchen and practically carried us away. As soon as I cook something, they are there to carry off whatever I might spill or drop. Even stew in a covered stainless steel pot attracted them within a few minutes, and they were literally swarming over the lid and sides trying to gain entrance. By carefully following the trail, we were able to block the hole so that they could not come again to annoy us, but that had to be done over and over again. Each day, we left some bait to attract them and then diligently followed their trail to eradicate the colony.

What lesson can be learned from these tiny, diligent workers?

Can we as Christian women behave like these tiny creatures? The inspired writer of Proverbs says so. We should not be slothful in business or in our duties to our physical families. We also must not be slothful in our duties to our spiritual family. We need to consider these creatures of God and be wise.

"There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:

Ants are only mentioned twice in the Bible, yet notice the admonition given about this amazing creature. "The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise" (Proverbs 30:25; 6:6).

What is it that the Lord would have us learn from these creatures He has made? Notice two specific qualities as well as the resulting evaluation.

The ant is a creature that is not strong.

Do we sometimes feel weak and inadequate for the job we have been given? Are we seeing what God sees in our lives? We must heed the admonition Paul gave the Philippians when he said,

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil 4:11-13).

The Lord has told us that He is our deliverer, and that we need not trust in ourselves or man. Through the prophets, He has given us many such admonitions:

She prepares her meat (food) in summer.

She is wise and we should be like her.

Beth Johnson

Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)